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NTP Sues Verizon, AT&T, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile

ScuttleMonkey posted about 7 years ago | from the up-to-their-old-tricks-again dept.

The Courts 83

An anonymous reader writes to tell us that following in the wake of their patent suit against Research in Motion (RIM), NTP has filed suit against Verizon, AT&T, Sprint Nextel, and T-Mobile for infringing on several patents. All of the patents in question relate to the delivery of email on mobile devices. "Five of the eight patents being used in the telco cases were the subject of NTP's 2001 patent suit against Research in Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry. In November 2002, a jury found that RIM infringed upon NTP's patents. The case continued to make headlines until 2006, when RIM agreed to pay NTP a settlement of $612.5 million, nearly four years after RIM had first been found guilty of infringing on NTP's patents."

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NTP request a speedy judgement, your honor (5, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 years ago | (#20580445)

Because the BPAI may toss [wikipedia.org] our patents any time and then we'll have to run though court processes to try to reassert ownership of some of these dubious patents.

I find the concept of leveraging open ideas, such as email, through some specific processes, abominable. It's not like these bastards invented email. So if I patent delivering a letter to someone's house by means of walking to my car, unlocking it, sitting in the driver seat, closing the door, putting on my safety belt, placing the key in the ignition, putting the car in gear, driving to the destination, reversing the previous steps, delivering the letter than repeating the whole previous process in reverse to return to home base and making note it has been delivered, I can sue anyone who does likewise. That's just stupid, but that's what's happening. Isn't it?

Re:NTP request a speedy judgement, your honor (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20580511)

Luckily with NTP [wikipedia.org] time is never a problem.

Re:NTP request a speedy judgement, your honor (1, Interesting)

Iam9376 (1096787) | about 7 years ago | (#20580581)

Do some companies just exist explicitly to patent troll?

I wonder if this was filed in the 'great state' Texas! //sarcasm

Re:NTP request a speedy judgement, your honor (1)

ls -la (937805) | about 7 years ago | (#20583741)

Do some companies just exist explicitly to patent troll?

I wonder if this was filed in the 'great state' Texas! //sarcasm
This isn't "flamebait, it's true. Yes, NTP is a "patent holding company" which exists only to sue legitimate companies for infringing on patents.

Re:NTP request a speedy judgement, your honor (2, Interesting)

Marty200 (170963) | about 7 years ago | (#20584289)

Yes, NTP is a "patent holding company" which exists only to sue legitimate companies for infringing on patents.

The problem isn't with "patent holding companies" but more with the patents they are given. It's perfectly legitimate for a company to buy someone else's IP and then go after companies that haven't licensed it from them. The original patten holder may not have had the cash or the willingness to market their patent. And if a small company holds a patent on something it's difficult for them to fight a company that is using there technology if they don't have deep enough pockets.

So why not sell it off to someone that can do something with it.

Now I'm not saying that this is what NTP is doing, but that is how the process should be working.

Re:NTP request a speedy judgement, your honor (1)

Xichekolas (908635) | about 7 years ago | (#20586655)

I'm sure there is a special place in Hell for Patent Trolls. Most likely right next to the RIAA booth, where they recruit lawyers from among Satan's minions.

Re:NTP request a speedy judgement, your honor (1)

Iam9376 (1096787) | about 7 years ago | (#20584673)

Gee.. mods must be NTP employees tonight! :-/

Sigh. (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | about 7 years ago | (#20580513)

This is why their crap should have been thrown out in the first place. They had no product, they had no real IP, and instead of being laughed out of court, they were allowed to rip off 600 million from a company that actually made it happen.

And now? Now they have a nice deep warchest to go after other people for violating their crap patents. If the goal was to create a spurious patent litigation industry, mission accomplished. Way to go legal system, way to go.

No - RIM deserved to lose $600 Million. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20580707)

"they were allowed to rip off 600 million from a company that actually made it happen."

Excuse me, that's not what happened. RIM absolutely deserved to lose that $600M, through the sheer stupidity of their CEO. RIM GAVE that $600 Million away when they didn't have to.

First, RIM hires an utterly incompetent lawfirm to represent them. The defining moment of this case was when this lawfirm authorized a bogus demo of supposedly prior art andpresented this as evidence, but got caught. That pissed off the Judge to no end, and the case went downhill from there.

Then, just at the cusp of victory, when the U.S. Congress was set to act, and the Patent Office was set to act, RIM decided to fold and gave NTP $600 Million, setting everyone up for this next round of lawsuits.

Sorry, but RIM is a company of idiots, and deserves to lose every penny they get. And I'll bet their CEO still got a bonus for his actions.

Re:No - RIM deserved to lose $600 Million. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20581041)

> Sorry, but RIM is a company of idiots.

Did they piss you off so bad?

Re:No - RIM deserved to lose $600 Million. (1)

Slippy. (42536) | about 7 years ago | (#20581225)

Both companies deserved to lose the case.

NTP is a patent troll. Rim did it's own trolling when convenient, and liked to sue the competition. Rim also has an egotistical idiot for a CEO (Or did he resign or something this year due to an accounting restatement costing hundreds of millions?).

It's just unfortunate that one company had to win. Worse that a patent troll got money.

Re:No - RIM deserved to lose $600 Million. (2, Interesting)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about 7 years ago | (#20581335)

...but the settlement let them get a share of any future lawsuit revenue. So... now if they get money out of the telcos, RIMM makes more money with no additional effort.

Re:Sigh. (4, Interesting)

darkmeridian (119044) | about 7 years ago | (#20580879)

NTP actually created a product in the eighties that embodied push e-mail. As you can imagine from the time period, it was not very marketable. You're right they didn't market a modern product, however. In other words, they weren't competing head-to-head with RIM, and this really bothers people.

I think that if you live by the sword, you die by the sword. RIM had been walking around suing companies for having a miniature keyboard on their mobile devices. If you believe NTP, it was this blatant patent trolling that led NTP to file its own suit. (How would NTP explain this one?) Furthermore, RIM refused to settle for $10 million, and its courtroom behavior was horribly bad. However, once it was obvious that NTP could get injunctive relief and shut down all Blackberry service in the United States, RIM had no leverage at all and had to pay an extortionate amount to settle before they went bankrupt.

Re:Sigh. (1)

kwanbis (597419) | about 7 years ago | (#20580901)

What is so "novelty" of push mail? Isn't it what a beeper does?

Re:Sigh. (2, Informative)

DustyShadow (691635) | about 7 years ago | (#20580943)

Not really. A beeper sends messages entered from a phone numpad to the beeper. The NTP patent (I think, I haven't read it) covers email sent from a computer to an email address that is then forwarded to a phone. That's different from sending to a phone number.

Re:Sigh. (1)

kwanbis (597419) | about 7 years ago | (#20580991)

no, you send text from a computer to a beeper, just like you send text from a computer to a blackberry ... the only diference is that one comes from an "inbox application" and the other from a "beeper application".

Re:Sigh. (2, Insightful)

DustyShadow (691635) | about 7 years ago | (#20581017)

except for a beeper, your message was intended for a phone. I'm pretty sure the email on a phone part of the patent isn't what's novel about it. The novel part is that the email, which is a message not intended to go to a phone, gets pushed automatically to it.

Re:Sigh. (1)

aevans (933829) | about 7 years ago | (#20581683)

If they had patented it in 1989, then the patent would have expired in 2006. But they didn't

Re:Sigh. (0)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 7 years ago | (#20582415)

US Patents last for 20 years from the date they are filed, not 17 years. (Source: USPTO General Information Concerning Patents [uspto.gov] )

Re:Sigh. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20589183)

Not entirely accurate. Take a look at this [wikipedia.org] . Applications pre-June 8, 1995 were 17 years from issuance or 20 years from earliest claimed filing date, whichever came first. Today, it is 20 years from filing date, but you can get extensions on this if you application takes inordinantly long to process due to USPTO problems (namely the backlog of patents that is very long in some arts).

Re:Sigh. (1)

lysse (516445) | about 7 years ago | (#20585899)

If you believe NTP, it was this blatant patent trolling that led NTP to file its own suit. (How would NTP explain this one?)


Easy. Their patents were found valid in a fair trial, these companies have only just started introducing violating technologies, and they weren't polite enough to arrange protection^W cross-licensing deals first.

Re:Sigh. (1)

TClevenger (252206) | about 7 years ago | (#20595307)

If the goal was to create a spurious patent litigation industry, mission accomplished. Way to go legal system, way to go.

Folks, remember this next time you try to get out of jury duty.

Re:NTP request a speedy judgement, your honor (1)

z-j-y (1056250) | about 7 years ago | (#20580763)

"So if I patent delivering a letter to someone's house by means of walking to my car..."

I patented a similar thing for web service. Thanks for the reminder, I'm patenting the E-mail through conventional delivery right now.

Re:NTP request a speedy judgement, your honor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20581719)

I already patented having your secretary print out your mail and hand-deliver the important ones to you to read in th e limo. I wonder how many executives owe me for their abuse of my patent?

Re:NTP request a speedy judgement, your honor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20581783)

Re:NTP request a speedy judgement, your honor (2, Interesting)

icepick72 (834363) | about 7 years ago | (#20581053)

You actually reversed the process twice in your claim meaning you ended up delivering the letter to yourself after a long drive and finally parked at the destination the letter should have gone to, but hey if it's patentable then who am I to judge your process.

Re:NTP request a speedy judgement, your honor (1)

billcopc (196330) | about 7 years ago | (#20583801)

If you patent that, I'm going to patent the singing dancing fat-nerd-in-tron-suit delivery system and order a complete "3rd party investigation" of your uniforms to make sure they're not infringingly similar to my tron suit.

Fuck NTP... This is a one-time thing but I'm rooting for the Telecoms this time around. I hope they squash that puny little patent abuser like a grape!

Re:NTP request a speedy judgement, your honor (1)

JoelKatz (46478) | about 7 years ago | (#20584393)

No, you can't patent a sequence of steps that does nothing more than produce the obvious sum of those steps. A sequence of known steps can only be patented if there's some "unexpected synergy" that allows the steps to accomplish something more than the obvious sum of their individual effects.

However, my recollection was that RIM settled with NTP just a few weeks before their patents were declared invalid in another proceeding. I guess I must be missing some details or not up on things that happened after that.

Whoops... (5, Interesting)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | about 7 years ago | (#20580507)

NTP might have had a hold over RIM because their business was depending on continued service, but NTP just picked a fight with multi-billion dollar businesses who are not going to roll over. This is just like SCO picking on IBM. When you fight a well funded opponent you better make damn sure you got the goods because their *multiple* law firms will eat your lunch.

Re:Whoops... (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 years ago | (#20580571)

NTP might have had a hold over RIM because their business was depending on continued service, but NTP just picked a fight with multi-billion dollar businesses who are not going to roll over. This is just like SCO picking on IBM. When you fight a well funded opponent you better make damn sure you got the goods because their *multiple* law firms will eat your lunch.

The telcos will have it easier, too as there's no precedence, with RIM it was actually an out of court settlment. Still, IBM had a long, long battle with SCO. Depending upon how much NTP asks for they telcos may just write them a cheque with no ongoing revenue due NTP.

Re:Whoops... (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 7 years ago | (#20580987)

The telcos will have it easier, too as there's no precedence, with RIM it was actually an out of court settlment. Still, IBM had a long, long battle with SCO. Depending upon how much NTP asks for they telcos may just write them a cheque with no ongoing revenue due NTP.


It was a long fight, but how much work was it for IBM's lawyers?

As to NTP, they have a bigger war chest, thanks to the patent extortion of RIM. Still, I'll wager the telcos don't back down.

Re:Whoops... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20580625)

Not only that, but everyone involved will be "sharing the pain" -- especially the high-powered lawyers who are already addicted to their "smart" phone (of whatever flavour). They'll know exactly what's at stake, for a change.

Re:Whoops... (4, Insightful)

drapeau06 (1010311) | about 7 years ago | (#20580797)

RIM might not be as big as those US telcos, but they are big enough and surely fought pretty hard. Their most recent annual report showed revenue in the year of over 3 billion USD and their current market cap is well over 45 billion USD... should be enough to hire an expensive lawyer or two.

Re:Whoops... (4, Insightful)

lelitsch (31136) | about 7 years ago | (#20581025)

There is a huge difference: RIM is a Canadian company. This simple fact limited them in three very important aspects:

(1) Many US Courts are biased in favor of US litigants.
(2) As a foreign company, RIM is severely limited in the amount of campaign contributions to US politicians.
(3) As a Canadian company, RIM does not have a home town congressman and senator.

All of these limitations are not unique to the US, they largely apply to US companies suing or getting sued overseas. See the different treatment Microsoft got in the US and the EU cases.

Re:Whoops... (1)

drapeau06 (1010311) | about 7 years ago | (#20581231)

Your points look spot on to me. As a non-USAer, I expect that I look forward to the advent of truly international of private law more than do USAers.

I did but point out that RIM is actually a large company; I'm sure we agree there.

No such thing as "international law" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20581927)

"I expect that I look forward to the advent of truly international of private law more than do USAers."

There's no such thing. Laws are enforced at the barrel of a gun. Unless you somehow created an army of people with no national affiliation, you can't create such a body. And lacking such an army the only thing you can do is whine. Which a lot of countries seem content to do. But other than make you feel miserable, whining doesn't accomplish much.

Re:No such thing as "international law" (1)

drapeau06 (1010311) | more than 6 years ago | (#20709381)

If USAers are lucky, there will be some firm international private law by the time they lose their tenuous position as global bully du jour.

Re:Whoops... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20583031)

Which is a valid point. At the same time though, its sad that the US tries to label itself 'democratic', but in no way leads by example. One law for us, another for you. The great divide, much like being a citizen of Rome, or a slave. No respect for other countries or their citizens. The US constitution: not fit for export. Do as I say, not as I do. You get the point. The US like every other 'empire' in the history of the world, has failed the acid test. By this measure (and you agreed that they failed, you said so yourself), the US has failed to lead anyone but itself. (Oh, and leading at the barrel of gun isn't leading, its called bank robbery and petty theft). No matter how powerful a nation, it cannot lead with a gun. Consider: Great Britain (world power in the 18th century) fighting the US. Consider the US victory in Vietnam. How about Iraq? Got Osama yet? Sure you can wreck a place with a gun, but you sure can't lead with one. Puppet military dictators throughout the world could learn the lesson from that statement: "You can wreck a place with a gun, but you sure can't lead with one."

Re:Whoops... (1)

OMEGA Power (651936) | about 7 years ago | (#20589581)

RIM might not be as big as those US telcos, but they are big enough and surely fought pretty hard. Their most recent annual report showed revenue in the year of over 3 billion USD and their current market cap is well over 45 billion USD... should be enough to hire an expensive lawyer or two.

Yes, but the companies NTP is going after now can hire an entire expensive law firm or two and a enough congressmen to get any laws they broke changed.

Verizon (NYSE: VZ)
2006 Revenue: US$88.1 billion
Market Cap: US$124.2 billion

AT&T (NYSE: T)
2006 Revenue: US$63 billion
Market Cap: US$246 billion

Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) owners of 100% of T-Mobile USA
2006 Revenue: EUR61.3 billion (US$85.1 billion)
Market Cap: US$83.08 billion

Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S)
2006 Revenue: US$41 billion
Market Cap: US$50.36 billion

Re:Whoops... (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about 7 years ago | (#20580803)

their *multiple* law firms will eat your lunch.

      Not to mention their *multiple* politicians. Because after all, NO ONE lobbies as hard and as well as the telcos... Perhaps NTP is doing everyone a favor with this suicidal action. Maybe now finally a little balance and conscience will be brought to patent law. Or perhaps I'm dreaming again and what will really happen is that telcos and Washinton will find a really ingenous way to screw NTP AND the public.

Re:Whoops... (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 years ago | (#20582317)

Suicide for the company perhaps but just another fattening step in the lifecycle of the rogue execs who will go on to cause damage somewhere else. Spectacular failure is rewarded with a massive bonus and is no barrier to the next plum job.

Re:Whoops... (1)

jjohnson (62583) | about 7 years ago | (#20580831)

Of course, NTP now has a $612MM war chest with which to fight. The Telcos aren't going to approach this battle with an attitude of "they can't afford to sue us." Any Telco exec who says "we'll just outspend them on legal dollars" won't last long.

Re:Whoops... (4, Insightful)

Trailer Trash (60756) | about 7 years ago | (#20580927)

This is just like SCO picking on IBM.

Unfortunately, it is vastly different in one key aspect: NTP has at least 10 times the cash to throw at this that SCO had. Also, NTP has no other money-losing departments to support, this is it.

As I said back when RIM settled, the only thing worse than a patent troll is a patent troll with $600M in the bank. This is why.

Re:Whoops... (4, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 7 years ago | (#20581937)

It's potentially different in another aspect. IBM was not just trying to win the case against SCO: they could have done that any number of times. What they were trying to was make an example of SCO, crushing them slowly and draining all the legal juice out, setting sufficient precedent that no-one in their right minds would ever do anything like that again. I don't see another SCO happening for a long, long time.

I wouldn't mind seeing someone take the same road with NTP. IBM's executives correctly understood that appeasement rarely works. If you have the resources, winning a head-on battle is better in the long run than a buy-off, because you won't be a target when it's over.

Well hopefully this will at least spark change. (2, Insightful)

FauxReal (653820) | about 7 years ago | (#20580597)

Maybe after getting hit by this large corporations will concede that some changes should be made; now that the shoe is on the other foot.

Re:Well hopefully this will at least spark change. (4, Insightful)

Darth Liberus (874275) | about 7 years ago | (#20580659)

A lot of large corporations are already begging to change the system. IIRC only the pharmaceutical industry still thinks the existing patent system is a good idea, and that's only because nobody has sued them for infringing on something like "method for separating a salt into its ionic components using a dihydrogen monoxide solvent".

Re:Well hopefully this will at least spark change. (1)

DustyShadow (691635) | about 7 years ago | (#20580997)

Universities are against the current proposed changes. So are small inventor lobbyists. Ironically, even though the bill supports big business, the Republicans are against it for the most part.

Re:Well hopefully this will at least spark change. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20584721)

FUCK OFF CUNT?

Re:Well hopefully this will at least spark change. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20584805)

DUMB, YOU?

Oh that's good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20583929)

PLEASE try and patent that one! I'd love to see what happened if it got through!

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20580613)

or not. I don't know anymore. Crap like this makes my head hurt. I feel like Roy O'Bannon in Shanghai Knights. Go ahead, Chon, just kill me. I don't care anymore.

Why is something like this allowed to occur? It's obvious NTP has no intention of producing anything. What innovation is this patent helping to foster?

Re:Good (1)

stonedcat (80201) | about 7 years ago | (#20580669)

Posted by AC because no human with any sense of self respect would project himself into Shanghai Knights.... terrible movie.

NTP suing? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | about 7 years ago | (#20580651)

Is it that time again?

Time to stop Network Time Protocol (1)

armanox (826486) | about 7 years ago | (#20582171)

So......I have to shut down my NTP server now?

Re:Time to stop Network Time Protocol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20582343)

I will protest by not syncing my computer clock anymore.

Re:NTP suing? (1)

ATMD (986401) | about 7 years ago | (#20585667)

Joking aside, what exactly is NTP if not Network Time Protocol?

That acronym means nothing else to me, but the summary simply assumes that everyone already knows who they are.

Just deserts?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20580673)

NTP are suing companies that stomp all over consumers who use their cell phones. Perhaps now they can feel like what it's like to be on the receiving end of a pointed stick.

I would suggest that these companies unite and invalidate NTP patents once and for all and do everyone a favor.

If you apply at Research in Motion... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20580947)

...do you get a rim job?

Re:If you apply at Research in Motion... (1)

poopdeville (841677) | about 7 years ago | (#20581415)

Only if they hire you.

Now that you mention it... (3, Funny)

supergumby (141149) | about 7 years ago | (#20581815)

My university's co-op department sent out an e-mail advertising "RIM jobs". Apparently there were many RIM jobs, and we should apply for them.

Different situation this time (1)

OSPolicy (1154923) | about 7 years ago | (#20580973)

The RIM lawyers pissed off the judge so badly in that case that they're lucky the judge just approved the $600M settlement. I think his preference would have been the death penalty. By the time it got to the appeals level, the facts established in the trial phase were basically impossible to overcome. Presumably, current defendants will have learned. Although NTP has a >$600M war chest, so don't look for them to be pushovers.

Re:Different situation this time (1)

DustyShadow (691635) | about 7 years ago | (#20581075)

It is standard at the appellate level for the finding of facts at the trial level to be nearly impossible to overcome.

Re:Different situation this time (1)

JoelKatz (46478) | about 7 years ago | (#20584415)

RIM made a lot of procedural errors early in the case that they could not overcome later. Perhaps they didn't have top-notch counsel or perhaps they weren't taking the lawsuit seriously. Unfortunately, that meant that later when the case looked really serious, they were fighting with one hand behind their back and the other one in a cast.

So what are they claiming? (1)

l2718 (514756) | about 7 years ago | (#20581037)

Is anyone familiar with the patents in question? Are they as general as "email on a handheld device via cellular network", or more specific? In other words, are they patenting an idea (algorithm, protocol, business method) or something tangible (the keyboard layout) ?

Re:So what are they claiming? (2, Interesting)

Russ Nelson (33911) | about 7 years ago | (#20582579)

As far as I can tell, they've patented the idea of running an SMTP server on a mobile device, along with a minimal MTA that delivers the email into a mailbox, along with a MUA that immediately detects the presence of the email. It's another one of those patents where the obvious answer to a subtle question is somehow patentable. If you ask me, only the subtle answers should be patentable.

Patent reform (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 7 years ago | (#20581051)

The US patent system to bea href ="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_Reform_Act_of_2005" improving. [wikipedia.org]

Let's hope that we'll get a Software Patent Reform Act of 2008.

Patent reform (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 7 years ago | (#20581093)

My bad. No more booze for lunch.
My comment should read:

The US patent system appears [wikipedia.org] to be improving. [wikipedia.org]

Let's hope that we'll get a Software Patent Reform Act of 2008.

Dear Patent Trolls (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20581055)

Blow me

-Love,

            Everyone

Grammar Nazi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20582281)

Blow us

-Love,

                        Everyone

Long live NTP! Down with NTP! (4, Funny)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 7 years ago | (#20581479)

And to think, just a couple days ago they were announcing their 1000th member [slashdot.org] . Oh Network Time Protocol, how we love and hate you.

Oh, wait.

Is SMTP taken as a company name? I want to confuse geeks, too.

Re:Long live NTP! Down with NTP! (1)

vocaro (569257) | about 7 years ago | (#20583275)

Is SMTP taken as a company name? I want to confuse geeks, too.

Nope, but I did find these: Steady Stream Hydrology [steadystreamhydro.com] , Fluid Transfer Products [fluidtrans...oducts.com] , and of course the Integrated Midwives Association of the Philippines [www.imap.ph] . Just think of the confusion if all these companies got together and sued somebody.

details, details (4, Interesting)

CheeseTroll (696413) | about 7 years ago | (#20581623)

AFAIK, most devices that aren't Blackberries or Good Tech devices *pull* their email, rather than having the messages pushed to them from the server. A small, but important difference.

And just for extra semantic fun, just how mobile does a device need to be to qualify as "mobile"? Does a laptop running Thunderbird violate NTP's patent if you unplug it?

Re:details, details (1)

PCM2 (4486) | about 7 years ago | (#20582347)

Good point. For those who don't recall, Good Technology has already licensed patents from NTP.

Then again, the patents might be something as simple as "method for indicating that new email has arrived using a blinking red LED on a mobile device." Anyone less lazy than I am and care to look them up?

Re:details, details (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20584961)

regarding mobility, it has to be able to fit in your pocket and weigh a pound or less.

Re:details, details (1)

Bodero (136806) | about 7 years ago | (#20586295)

Verizon's Wireless Sync [wsync.com] is indeed push, as noted on their homepage:

Wireless Sync uses advanced "push" technology so you can stay informed up to-the-minute - as if you were in the office.

It's actually really sweet - I only ever have to hook my Q up to my computer when I'm installing software through ActiveSync. But it looks like another company, Intellisync, develops it, so it's interesting that NTP is going after VZW.

Re:details, details (1)

stratjakt (596332) | about 7 years ago | (#20592141)

It's worth noting you can use other email clients with Verizon. I don't like WirelessSync, nor the idea of "push" email, because I like to read my email on my own time. They still ship VersaMail with Palm devices like my Treo, and outlook or whatever passes for an email client on Windows.

Wireless e-mail "invented" in 1990 my ass. (5, Informative)

MULTICS_$MAN (692936) | about 7 years ago | (#20581789)

These screwballs tried to hack a POCSAG pager to dump data to the AT&T Safari laptop in the late eighties or early nineties. When they failed to accomplish anything useful (because they were incompetent) AT&T went with the SkyTel Link, which was a superior pre-existing product which actually worked.

Wireless networking carrying all network traffic was developed at the University of Hawaii and was a precursor of the ARPA internet with the transport layer being the "ether". Other wireless ARPA subnets (PRNET and SATNET) were integrated into the internet on August 27, 1976, with a message originating in a mobile station connected via packet radio ot the landline ARPANET.

Information about the mobile network station originating that message has been preserved here [ed-thelen.org] . The first inter-network spanning message was, of course, an e-mail.

The various packet and satnet Class A domains are defined back to at least RFC790 issued in 1981, The infamous TCP:99 "metagram relay" port doesn't seem to appear until RFC820 in 1986,

Also of interest is Vint Cerf's RFC773 of October 1980.

http://rfc.net/rfc0773.html [rfc.net]



Now GET OFF MY LAWN, ya snotty little whippersnappers.

NTP will lose this time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20582035)

The landscape has changed tremendously in the past 5 years. The KSR v Teleflex case alone, in which the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that simply combining previously existing elements in predictable ways does not deserve patent protection, should be enough to stop this now. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, which has been responsible for not reigning in patent abuse in the past, has been so thoroughly horse-whipped by the Supremes that I'm sure this one will go nowhere. Too bad, however, that the Telco firms will still have to spend millions to make it all go away.

mod 04 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20582729)

contact to see if simple solution Continues in a said. 'Screaming disgust, or been it there. Bring obseesives and the their hand...she very sick and its posts on Usenet are

Weren't Those Patents Ruled Invalid? (3, Insightful)

florescent_beige (608235) | about 7 years ago | (#20582901)

I seem to remember this [engadget.com] . IIRC NTP won on a technicality, something like they got a ruling of infringement before RIM got the patents invalidated. So how are they back for more with the same patents?

psh (1)

mooreti1 (1123363) | about 7 years ago | (#20583093)

What? They got RIM to settle so they think they can extort the telco's? Someone needs to tell NTP that when it comes to courtroom extortion no one can beat a US telco. They freakin' invented, perfected and institutionalized the practice.

Re:psh (2, Funny)

anagama (611277) | about 7 years ago | (#20584257)

They freakin' invented, perfected and institutionalized the practice.

You forgot "patented".

NTP -- Network Time Protocol (1)

happy_place (632005) | about 7 years ago | (#20590237)

You go Networking Time Protocol!! All those NTP servers out there, working hard to keep time... it's about time you lawyered up!!

--Ray
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